Meet Angela Kakepetum: Indigenous Patient Navigator
by Julie Creamer
For many people living in remote First Nation communities across Northwestern Ontario, coming to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for medical treatment is their first trip to Thunder Bay. Adjusting to the city away from home can be challenging, especially for those who cannot speak English.
Angela Kakepetum, along with Liaisons and Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPNs) in other areas of our Hospital, provide a number of services for Indigenous patients, including:
- Interpretive services in Cree, Ojibway, and Oji-Cree;
- Support before, during, and after clinical appointments/procedures;
- Linking patients and families to community resources;
- Tele-visitation services with remote family members;
- Information and education in a culturally-sensitive manner;
- Liaise and advocate between the care team, patients, and families;
- Assistance with discharge planning.
Kakepetum is originally from Sandy Lake, where she was raised by her grandparents in their traditional way of life and native language, Oji-Cree. Kakepetum worked as a prevention outreach worker at Tikinagen to coordinate community events and provide support to people of all age groups. She moved to Thunder Bay in 2006.
With 30 years of experience in various service roles, including at Wequedong Lodge and Flavours Cafeteria at TBRHSC, Kakepetum’s knowledge and background, along with a passion to help others, make her an asset to the Hospital and the IPN program.
“I know what it’s like to have to leave your home community to access health care services,” Kakepetum says. “I am looking forward to working with everyone and helping patients feel comfortable and supported when they come here.”
To learn more about Indigenous Patient Navigators and the additional services and supports available for Indigenous patients and families, please visit http://tbrhsc.net/home/indigenous-health-services/.